Black satin 1950s hat: eBay
Pearl stud earrings: Claire's
Marietta ladybug cardigan: Voodoo Vixen
Red faux leather skinny belt: eBay
Grey 1970s does 40s/50s a-line skirt: Cereal Vintage Thrift
Red 1950s gloves: Unknown, had for years (likely eBay or thrifted)
Faux pearl stretch bracelets: Real Canadian Superstore
Vintage Saks Fifth Avenue black patent purse: etsy seller MK Retro
Black seamed nude stockings: eBay
Red patent faux leather pumps: Payless
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red
Photography by Tony Cangiano
Every time I wear this ultra adorable Marietta ladybug cardigan from Voodoo Vixen, which I've been doing a whole lot lately since receiving it as one of two thoroughly fantastic review products from the brand a little earlier this year (I blogged all about the other, the immensely beautiful Flora Dress in a post here last month), I'm reminded of the absolute plethora of these polka dotted insects that lived on the juniper hedges in our front yard of one of my earliest childhood homes.
I've never been the type who was of was terribly fond of bugs (being very arachnophobic doesn't help there), but these wee little critters didn't frighten me one bit and like many folks, ladybugs are pretty much the only insects I've ever let intentionally crawl on me. Proof positive if there was that beauty can be a game changer and how you interact with someone or in this case, something!
I love a great novelty cardigan, though objectively don't own very many (despite my rather large cardi collection), so I was especially elated to receive this beautiful black and red one from Voodoo Vixen. It's a splendidly soft viscose knit with some stretch to it that hugs the body marvelously. I generally like my cardigans to fitted, but not ultra skin tight, and this spotted insect adored charmer delivers there big time. The solid red coloured tie neck is another big point in its favour and helps instantly impart a further vintage vibe to this lovely garment.
Though red, grey and black is, no word of a lie, my default winter colour palette of choice (I wear it so very much between November and March that I sometimes have to make a conscious effort to sport other hues, lest folks start thinking I only own those three colours!), every now and then, loving it fiercely, I'll don it during the warmer half of the year as well, which is precisely what I opted to do when styling my beautiful Mariette ladybug cardigan for these photos.
A classic 1970s does 1940s/50s grey a-line skirt, a glamorous black satin 1950s hat (which strikes me, more than any other vintage chapeau I own, as one that Marilyn Monroe would have worn), red 50s gloves, classic pearl jewelry, black vintage patent leather purse, and red patent pumps round out the ensemble, which is just right for the not too hot, not too cold days of late summer/early fall (come winter, I'll slip on black tights and another shirt or blouse under the cardigan to help ensure I can keep on wearing this outfit even when we're up to our mascara coated eyelashes in snow again).
I've also been wearing this fabulously cute ladybug cardigan with denim capris, my grey 1940s style Heyday swing trousers, Freddies jeans, and with a red quilted 1950s circle skirt. I’m sure further ensembles will follow the longer I have the pleasure of owning this darling vintage inspired cardigan from Voodoo Vintage - which always, without fail, puts a big smile on my face when I spot it in my closet or wear it. Life, and one's wardrobe, needs a good hit of whimsy sometimes of the sort that only a cardigan this fun can deliver.
On the day when Tony and I took the outfit photos for this post, we also shot a video for my YouTube channel in which I talk about some of the top comments that vintage wearers receive from members of the public (and sometimes our own friends and family, too). I'd chatted before back in 2013 about a handful of the far more bizarre comments and questions I'd had directed at me over the years in a post called Strangers say the darndest things, but I hadn't overly addressed the more common, everyday sorts of comments that I receive before and felt that day was as good as any to do so.
Now, these are not the only comments I hear often of course, but the are some of the top contenders and as I know many of you receive such remarks and questions as well, I wanted to discuss them and let you know, especially if you're relatively new to the world of wearing vintage, that you're not alone in hearing such things. As I touched on in my video, I usually don't mind at all when people ask me questions or say comments to me about my vintage attire.
I am entirely aware of the fact that, objectively, I don't look/dress like 99.9% of other people (make that an even 100% here in my small town) and that that alone will always be enough to illicit curiosity. Fortunately, more often than not, the comments I receive are friendly, kind and well meaning, something that I know isn't always the case for some of my vintage loving/wearing peers around the world, such as this wonderfully lovely vintage couple from the UK who were recently in the news because of the challenges they've faced due to their vintage lifestyle and fashion choices (which is nothing short of criminal - we should all be allowed to dress, and live, however we please - so long as we're not hurting anyone, of course - without any fear of ridicule or rudeness whatsoever).
In posts such as I am Authentic to My Soul and Dress Like a Cupcake Should Feel, and many others here over the years, I have talked at length about the importance of wearing whatever one fancies and makes them happy no matter what those so-called haters and narrow minded folks out there might think, and this message is one that I will continue to promote for the rest of time.
Receiving comments and questions, assuming they're polite, from strangers and people I know alike doesn't phase me - shy as I am - any more in the slightest. After half a lifetime of sporting vintage attire, I've grown completely at ease with them and know that at least a couple (often more) will come my way anytime I'm out and about in public. It can be fun to see the look on peoples' faces, for example, when I reply that, "Yes, I do wear vintage all the time", for example. It is usually either a wide-eyed look of surprise, as though they themselves couldn't even remotely fathom doing the same, or conversely, a big smile and positive remark such as "That's awesome!" or "Good for you!".
Certainly another common type of question that I receive is where did I get a particular garment or accessory I'm wearing from, and numerous folks have already asked me that about this enchantingly sweet red and black Voodoo Vixen cardigan. I find that the general public is often more apt to want to know where to source repro, rockabilly, pinup, and vintage inspired pieces from, than full on genuine vintage ones, because those who don't wear old school vintage themselves are sometimes more apt to sport a modern piece that has a yesteryear look to it - and indeed, mid-century appropriate though it is, this cardi could easily be worn with more contemporary ensembles as well.
So, my lovely dears, just as I asked in my video, tell me, what are some of the most common comments that you receive when you wear your vintage (or repro, etc) finery? Have you found the public to be generally accepting, kind and polite where you live? What are some things you've been asked that you never would have expected? Do you wish that people would keep to themselves or you enjoy the questions about your appearance that come your way?
Personally, at this stage in the game, I fall into the latter camp. You just never know who, in doing so, you might help inspire to embrace and wear vintage more in their own life. I madly love, love, lovvvvvvvvvve vintage and any chance I get to chat about it with friendly people is a good thing in my books.
As is this cuter than cute, comfy, fantastic ladybug cardigan, which I think I might just have to sport again today while I continue packing up a storm for our trip in a mere four days to Vancouver Island. There's so much to do and so few days to accomplish it all in! I best hop right to it, like a ladybug flittering around a hedge, so that we'll be all set to leave at the crack of dawn on Monday, two week’s worth of vintage outfits all ready to see what kinds of comments and questions the lovely people of Victoria have about them. :)